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Wear Of Military And Civilian Items


Generally speaking, the wear of a combination of civilian and military clothing is prohibited. However, when local commanders have authorized it, some uniform items, like the IPFU and the Army black allweather coat may be worn with civilian clothing (provided rank insignia is removed). Wear of other items such as black oxford shoes (low quarters), combat boots, belts or gloves with civilian clothing are also allowed.

Civilian Bags

Soldiers may carry civilian gym bags, civilian rucksacks, or other similar civilian bags while in uniform. Soldiers may carry these bags by hand, on one shoulder using a shoulder strap, or over both shoulders using both shoulder straps. If the soldier opts to carry a bag over one shoulder, the bag must be carried on the same side of the body as the shoulder strap. Soldiers may not carry the bag slung across the body with the strap over the opposite shoulder.

If soldiers choose to carry a shoulder bag while in uniform, the bag must be black with no other colors and may not have any logos. The contents of the bag may not be visible; therefore, see-through plastic or mesh bags are not authorized. There is no restriction on the color of civilian bags carried in the hand. Commanders govern the wear of organizational issue rucksacks in garrison and field environments.


Female soldiers may carry black handbags in the hand or over one shoulder. Soldiers may not wear the shoulder bag in such a manner that the strap is draped diagonally across the body with the purse resting on the hip opposite the shoulder holding the strap.

Civilian clothing is considered appropriate attire for individuals who are participating in civilian outdoor activities such as hikes or volksmarches, orienteering, or similar activities. Soldiers who are spectators at these activities may wear utility or field uniforms. However, commanders of participating units that provide support personnel, such as medical and traffic control personnel, may prescribe appropriate uniforms, to include utility or organizational uniforms, if warranted by the occasion, weather conditions, or activity.

Soldiers may wear experimental uniform items while actively engaged in an experimental uniform test program approved by HQ, US Army training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), HQ, US Army Materiel Command (AMC), or the Army Uniform Board, HQDA. Soldiers will not wear experimental items after completion of the test unless such wear is approved by HQDA.

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